Wednesday morning we woke up in Kamuli to the stillness of no fans running because the power was out. That was soon replaced by the rumble of thunder as we began a soggy morning in Mbulamuti! To quote Violet, "no worries" and we made our way to the village by mid-morning.
Mbulamuti partners with Water's Edge-Allen and Water's Edge-Frisco in Dallas. What began as a small congregation meeting in an abandoned building has become a flourishing school of over 400. It was a pleasure to enjoy some entertainment by the kids and check out their new playground! One hundred ten students are sponsored here. They are a photogenic bunch!
After lunch, we began the bumpy drive to the village of Namwendwa. We had a few exciting moments when the bus hit some particularly muddy patches but we pulled into this special place about an hour later.
Namwenda owns a small amount of land and they have constructed a very temporary structure that serves as a school for 120 kids. They have no partner and no children are sponsored. We did leave a duffel bag full of books with them in February and loved seeing them being used. We even got to enjoy a "drama" that was from the Arches book "The Empty Tomb"; the kids did an AWESOME job!
We had the privilege of handing out treat bags, decorated by kids at Messiah Lutheran School, and filled with bracelets, also made by these kids, letters, and candy. Violet directed traffic and it was quite an orderly process! The kids were thrilled. We had enough bracelets left over to share with the women and we can safely say everyone with in a one mile radius must have received candy!
Apparently, hamming it up for the camera is universal!
We had lunch, again, in Namwendwa and then the party started! We had time to lead the kids in a rousing rendition of "If You're Happy and You Know It" and the Hokey-Pokey. There are pictures of me "turning myself about" that will not be shared, but it was great fun. Next, Andy broke out the wireless speaker and we share our theme song for the week "Best Day of My Life". SO MUCH FUN dancing and singing with these kids! We are thankful for a day where we could simply enjoy the moment.
We said our "good-byes" and headed for home. We drove up on a car in the ditch and a truck in the center of the road soon after we left. Julius, our courageous bus driver, was able to navigate us around the scene and an hour and a half later, we were back at the Sunset Hotel in Jinja.
It was a small group for dinner - only 6 of us. Somehow the discussion turned to the Tooth Fairy and Violet shared the Uganda version with us - the Tooth Rat. Yes, Tooth Rat. Those of you who know Violet know that there is always the possibility of embellishment with her, but we googled it and she was telling the truth!
Today we go to Butangala. They are going to hear some great news today - that they have a partner in the US with Immanuel Lutheran Church & School in Wentzville, Missouri. They have gone from 18 to 69 sponsored kids since our last visit and we look forward to sharing that news with them!
We are thankful for your continued prayers and look forward to our day!
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.